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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Kinesin and kinectin can associate with the melanosomal surface and form a link with microtubules in normal human melanocytes.

Microtubuli play an important role in the organization of organelles and membrane traffic. They are present in melanocytic dendrites through which melanosomes are transported towards keratinocytes. Besides the actin-based motility systems, microtubuli-associated motor proteins also play a critical role in melanosome movement, as has recently been confirmed in mouse melanocytes. We investigated the in vitro expression of two forms of human conventional kinesin and its receptor kinectin in normal human epidermal melanocytes, keratinocytes, and dermal fibroblasts by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and northern blot analysis. In an attempt to gain insight into the subcellular distribution of kinesin and kinectin in melanocytes, double immunofluorescent staining and immunogold electron microscopy were performed. In all studied skin cells ubiquitous and neuronal kinesin are expressed, as well as the kinectin receptor. Immunofluorescent staining shows distinct but partially overlapping distributions for kinesin heavy chain and melanosomes, suggesting that kinesin is associated with some but not all of the melanosomes. Similar observations for kinectin indicate that this receptor can colocalize with melanosomes, which was confirmed by immunoelectron microscopy. The latter technique allowed us to demonstrate a close association between kinesin heavy chain, microtubuli, and melanosomes. The combined data from reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, northern blot analysis, double immunofluorescent staining, and immunogold electron microscopy suggest that kinesins and kinectin have an important role in microtubuli-based melanosome transport in human melanocytes.[1]


  1. Kinesin and kinectin can associate with the melanosomal surface and form a link with microtubules in normal human melanocytes. Vancoillie, G., Lambert, J., Mulder, A., Koerten, H.K., Mommaas, A.M., Van Oostveldt, P., Naeyaert, J.M. J. Invest. Dermatol. (2000) [Pubmed]
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